Studies have shown that youth mortality rates have increased in the United States compared to control countries.
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Studies have shown that youth mortality rates have increased in the United States compared to control countries.

In the United States, youth mortality has increased compared to comparator countries

According to a study published online on July 1, the U.S. has a higher youth mortality rate than 16 comparator countries. JAMA Pediatrics.

Steven H. Woolf, MD, MPH, of Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, and Derek A. Chapman, Ph.D., of Virginia Commonwealth University School of Population Health, both in Richmond, compared mortality rates among youth ages 0 to 19 in the United States with 16 comparison countries. Excess deaths were calculated for each age group and year from 1999 to 2019.

The researchers found that, compared with 16 comparison countries, mortality rates were higher among youth in the United States. From 2013 to 2021, mortality rates increased among U.S. youth ages 10 to 19, while comparison countries saw a decline in the median mortality rate, widening the mortality gap.

Among American youth aged 15–19, a marked increase in mortality was observed after 2019, which was not observed in most comparator countries.

Between 1999 and 2019, there were 413,948 excess deaths among U.S. youth aged 0 to 19 years, with infants accounting for 56.6 percent of excess deaths and children aged 1 to 4 years, 5 to 9 years, 10 to 14 years, and 15 to 19 years accounting for 7.5, 3.9, 5.8, and 26.2 percent of excess deaths, respectively. Between 2009 and 2019, there was an increase in the percentage of excess deaths among those aged 10 to 19 years (from 27.5 to 35.8 percent).

“Young people aged 10 to 19 have accounted for an increasing share of deaths since 2010,” the authors write. “Most of them are male, with higher rates of fatal injuries.”

More information:
Steven H. Woolf et al., Excess Deaths in the United States Due to High All-Cause Mortality Rates Among Youth Ages 0 to 19, JAMA Pediatrics (2024). DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2024.1869

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